taught, DeSpain believes that her art has always had a strong spiritual side. Early in her career as a successful
southwest artist, painting portraits of Indian children, she has always tried to touch the essence of the souls of her
subjects. Viewers of her work often comment that they can feel the spirit, the energy and life of the child that she
has captured in oils.
I always start with the eyes, DeSpain says, as I truly believe that they are the essence of the soul, and then the
expression of the face. "If I cannot capture those to my satisfaction, then the painting is useless and is tossed
aside." Viewers often comment on the eyes and the expressions in the faces of the children, to DeSpain's delight as
that to her is the most important part of her painting.
One of the trademarks of DeSpain's work, are the raised bead work in the costumes of the children. She developed
this technique many years ago. Viewers of her work want to reach out and touch bead work, thinking that they are
actual beads sewn to the surface of the canvas. People have told her that artists have tried to copy her technique of
raised bead work, she said, "Imitation is indeed the most sincere form of flattery" and is not concerned with who
developed this, saying "perhaps I even plucked it out of the universal consciousness", where she believes much of
her inspiration comes from along with the actual spiritual presence of her subjects.
Saying of her years of going to Indian reservations and Pow Wows to take the precious photographs of children that
she paints from, " I loved being there, I loved the experience. I felt as though I was helping preserve a culture that
was quickly fading, however, I always felt as though I was always an outsider looking in, painting from my outside
in." . She tries to preserve and portray this amazing delicate culture in the eyes of its children.
In DeSpain's fantasy paintings, she comes from a completely different perspective. Of her fairy and angel paintings
she says, "I paint from the inside out. This is the beauty I feel, see and know and want to show to others. I try to paint
what I see, that which comes from deep inside of me."
She loves old world mythology and her painting "Stolen Child" is based on the WB Yeat's poem, "Stolen Child."
With all the new technologies and methods of art, DeSpain believes in sticking exclusively to the age old medium of
oil paints. "There is nothing like the smell of oils in my studio as I attempt to create magic, within the simplicity of
oils." Also she said of her work, "I would rather paint one great masterpiece, that will one day be known to the world,
than a group of little nothing paintings, for the sake of producing." Also, "I do not paint for money but for love. Some
paint to live, I live to paint."
Because of the time consuming process of painting in many layers of multiple glazes that give the luminescence of a
stained glass window, her paintings take a very long time to paint, sometimes years. Originals seldom come up for
sale. However, with the growing technology of a good reproductions many can be offered in the form of Giclee'.
DeSpain loves the natural world, and is very involved in taking care of our planet earth, who she believes has a spirit
and consciousness of its own.
|A career in dedication to the arts.